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Poet of the Month: ‘Crazy Land,’ by Liora Mondlak

“What’s good here?” we ask the waitress with Hello Kitty barrettes. In a suburb of Nagasaki there are fourteen fruit-flavored bus stops, where the children wait out another golden summer. The buses take you along Highway 207 to the coastal towns on the Ariake Sea. You can linger in a small café over a plate of Thousand-Year-Old Eggs, or a bowl of Grasp at Good Luck Noodles. After lunch you might walk to a traveling carnival called Crazy Land, where a contortionist squeezes himself into a small transparent cube. Some parents like to take their birdlike babies on the Caterpillar Roller-Coaster, others head to the Whirling Tea Cups. The waitress suggests we buy two bottles of Four Precious Jewels Ice Tea, and look for the games of chance at the far end of the boardwalk, where gulls wait for sea cucumbers to wash up.


Liora Mondlak is The Inquisitive Eater's Poet of the Month for December 2017.

Liora Mondlak remembers accompanying her mother to the market in Mexico City, where she grew up. She remembers the chickens hanging by their feet, and the sawdust around her saddle shoes. Years later, she would return to the market to buy ground chameleon, a well-known love potion, which she uses sparingly.

She lives in New York with her teenage daughter, where she teaches art and poetry. Lioramondlak.com

‘Like an Apple,’ by Chelsea Wolf

On the day I ate my lover’s heart
I used the fingernail of my index finger
– the longest of them all –
to slit him
straight down the middle.
I cracked his sternum like a walnut
leaving the shell of him behind.
I yanked
until it lay beating
– glossy and red –
in both hands.
I bit into it
With a crunch.
And the juice, his blood, ran down my face.
I wish he could have seen me then,
So alive, picking his pulp from my teeth
With the sharpest piece of rib.
I don’t know what else to tell you –
Other than it was a Tuesday.


Chelsea Wolf is an overly caffeinated writer and musician living in New York City with her four rescue cats. She is currently working towards her MFA in Creative Writing at The New School. Follow her on twitter: @chelswolf

Featured image via Pexels.

Poet of the Month: ‘Could it be in Longing We are Most Ourselves?’ by Liora Mondlak

The Big Mamou is closed
now. You used to be able
to go in and order a dish
called southern eel, and stay
all night.


Liora Mondlak is The Inquisitive Eater's Poet of the Month for December 2017.

Liora Mondlak remembers accompanying her mother to the market in Mexico City, where she grew up. She remembers the chickens hanging by their feet, and the sawdust around her saddle shoes. Years later, she would return to the market to buy ground chameleon, a well-known love potion, which she uses sparingly.

She lives in New York with her teenage daughter, where she teaches art and poetry. Lioramondlak.com

Featured image via Pixnio.

Poet of the Month: ‘Iron Chef,’ by Liora Mondlak

Donatella: A smart story, even though it’s a salad.
                    I particularly love the Portuguese
                    laurel with its dark-red perfumed
                    flowers. I’ve tasted them only once before.

Laurence: I spotted some on my way here. In the garden
                    next to the Birds’ Fountain.
                    This is a very vinaigretty cocktail.

Gina:          I lived on the border of the Basilica
                    and ate bitter gooseberries near the mouth
                    of the river. I’m an escargot
                    fan from way back.

Laurence: You wouldn’t expect escargot and corn
                    to harmonize so well. I secretly drink
                    skim milk and dream of a British country
                    home. I’ve always wanted someone
                    to call me The Master.

Donatella: The Brussels sprouts add just the right amount
                    of bitterness. They have a bite and piquancy
                    entirely their own. Any more would have been
                    too much. Pass the gnocchi, please.

Laurence: I took the train here from Valencia, past
                    the grazing lambs. Past the orange
                    groves. I’m not usually a gnocchi guy.

Gina:          The lambs eat from the fallen fronds
                    in the Queen’s Fern Valley. The trees grow
                    twelve meters and naturally regenerate.
                    I don’t understand it but I love it.

Donatella: In Japan, I chased a lover around a milk-bush.
                    We squeezed the leaves between our fingers,
                    which expels a poison. In small amounts
                    it is delicious. Such a tender lamb.


Liora Mondlak is The Inquisitive Eater's Poet of the Month for December 2017.

Liora Mondlak remembers accompanying her mother to the market in Mexico City, where she grew up. She remembers the chickens hanging by their feet, and the sawdust around her saddle shoes. Years later, she would return to the market to buy ground chameleon, a well-known love potion, which she uses sparingly.

She lives in New York with her teenage daughter, where she teaches art and poetry. Lioramondlak.com

Photo via Pixabay.

‘The October Diet,’ by Akachi Obijiaku

On a fasted stomach
walking past babies and broccoli,
yams and empty palms,

I turn orange like an orange
my skin exposing my overdose
of bastard bargains.

On a sunny but slow day
I tell everyone “look! See how fit I am!”
even though the October Diet is not by choice.


Akachi Obijiaku is a new Nigerian poet, who started writing poetry in 2017. Her works are forthcoming or appearing in The Inquisitive Eater, Abstract Magazine, Meniscus Literary Journal, The Basil O’Flaherty, Rising Phoenix Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, and Sentinel Literary Quarterly. She emigrated to England four years ago and holds an MSc from King’s College London.

Featured image via Pexels.

Poet of the Month: ‘Midnight Tortillas,’ by Virginia Valenzuela

When the tortillas run out and the stores are closed, my father stands at the counter mixing maiz and water and lime. He finds the tortillera, whose home is under the sink, and presses mounds of dough into circles, asymmetric and coarse like the hands that make them. He says, “warm up the comal, daughter.” And I do. The light blue flames lick the bottom of the cast iron skillet, its blackness deep like the heart of a volcano.

The hearty smell of
homemade staples
hovering like a
Goodnight kiss.


Virginia Valenzuela is The Inquisitive Eater's Poet of the Month for November 2017.

Virginia Valenzuela is a poet, essayist, and yogi from New York City. She is a second-year MFA candidate for Poetry and Creative Nonfiction at The New School. She is an Education Associate with Teachers and Writers, a Research Assistant at The New School, the Prose Editor for LIT, and the Curator/MC for a monthly reading series at KGB Bar. You can find more of her work on her blog, Vinny the Snail and on the Best American Poetry Blog.

Featured image via Flickr

‘Having a Coke With You,’ by Hillary Adler

Having a Coke With You

is even more fun than traversing upstate to Peekskill and hiking
            to the summit
or playing pacman at Barcade on 24th Street or St. Marks
or eating plates of expensive Omakase or real Italian pasta
            out in Brooklyn
partly because of how happy a customer service brawl makes you
partly because of how competitive you are, partly because
            of your smile
partly because of the bog you tiptoed across over the pond
            in Prospect Park
partly because you held my hand to stay balanced
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there are other people
            out there better for us
even
            after you said
we would wait six months to see how we felt

the nails you ordered from Amazon are still waiting for me
to hang all of those paintings you ordered online
                                    As Frank said, “I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits
in the world”
            and that scares me
especially the portrait of you I have in my mind standing
            in the doorway
when I said I couldn’t do this anymore and you said you didn’t
            love me
and that very same day earlier under the four pm late New York
            summer sun
we split a bottle of wine and dipped into the same bowl
            of Tiramisu
and walked for two hours telling stories which is why, even now,
            I want to have a coke with you


Hillary Adler is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Warblr, a political humor website fighting the Trump administration one laugh at a time. She holds an MFA from The New School and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Poetry Foundation, Huffington Post, Bustle, Marie Claire, Public Pool and elsewhere. She curates and co-hosts The Red Room Poetry Series at KGB Bar in NYC, and can be found on twitter @HillaryAdler.

Featured photo via Flickr.

‘Bread,’ by Tiziano Colibazzi

Composed with my son.

I. Bread Flour
Powdery ivory dust, snow turning into a crust,
gold of my kitchen that wise wizardry churns,
into muffins, pies, farfalle and sourdough.
Kneading and kneading, you grow,
plunging ahead into the stove.

II. Yeast
Breath of life; ancient mold, you softly
whisper bubbles, you work this dough
into a lattice cobweb, without effort.

III. Salt
“Papo, it hurts!” the sea water got
into my son’s eyes. “It’s salt” I explain.
“But why?” he quizzically replies.
In the Appenine villages, where I grew up
away from the sea, the bread is sold
unsalted: yet savory, pungent, bold
in flavor, but insipid.
There is an ancient road in Rome,
Via Salaria, named for salt
that travelled far and wide.
Unfortunately, salary is no longer
paid in salt: we have benefits, today.

IV. Oil
They come in different forms on the shelf.
Luscious velvety gold: more expensive for sure,
you can smell the sun dissolved in a spoon.
Canola oil in a plastic bottle we just cannot
use: pallid like urine, industrial and cold.

V. Water
My fingers feel your moist presence,
you are always the same, everywhere.
A list of “waters” I do not dare
to write down: Fiji water, Dasani, Aquafina and
the lubricant of office gossip: Poland Spring:
different names, but just one thing.
As with uncountable nouns
such as happiness or money,
you only get one chance in life:
You just cannot “unburn” your bread.


Tiziano Colibazzi is a poet in addition to being a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He is currently a first year MFA candidate for Poetry at the New School. Originally from Rome, Italy, Tiziano lives in NYC and he is the proud father of twin boys.

Featured image via Pexels.

Poet of the Month: ‘Confession,’ by Virginia Valenzuela

Two Bohemias sit at a table
winking into our mouths
as we wet our lips to speak.
They are neat and subtle
unlike me. I fidget in place.
My thoughts are swindled, swishing
along the scalloped walls
of my brain. My father’s been trying
to tell me something, for months
and since we’re here, I think he’d better.
He says so much
but only to himself, for his lips
begin to shape, then rest
or pucker to drink. I don’t think
I would know what to say.
Virginia, he startles me, and I nod,
about last summer—
I wonder if we remember it the same way.
I suppose not.


Virginia Valenzuela is The Inquisitive Eater's Poet of the Month for November 2017.

Virginia Valenzuela is a poet, essayist, and yogi from New York City. She is a second-year MFA candidate for Poetry and Creative Nonfiction at The New School. She is an Education Associate with Teachers and Writers, a Research Assistant at The New School, the Prose Editor for LIT, and the Curator/MC for a monthly reading series at KGB Bar. You can find more of her work on her blog, Vinny the Snail and on the Best American Poetry Blog.

Featured image via PublicDomainPictures.net

Poet of the Month: ‘Fable of the Starfruit,’ by Virginia Valenzuela

A drunken star fell from the sky
and looking nothing like the others
he felt much relief in leaving.

A drunken star fell into the trees
and the crickets, thinking him a God
took him into their arms.

A drunken star, engorged with heavy light
looked down on the crickets, feeling
unshapely, and rather green.

He looked not like a star
but a cricket without any legs
and the crickets, thinking him a God

decorated him with many leaves
offered him a cloak with magic sleeves
quoth the crickets: we will be your legs.

A young girl fell from the sky
and feeling cold and uncertain
she wept beneath the trees.

A drunken star fell out of the branches
fell right beside her, and glowed.
The young girl wiped her tears

and brushed them over the star
which began to shine brighter.
The little lost girl, thinking it a gift from the Gods

bit into it, hoping to find her home
but beneath the glowing, green skin
were constellations.


Virginia Valenzuela is The Inquisitive Eater's Poet of the Month for November 2017.

Virginia Valenzuela is a poet, essayist, and yogi from New York City. She is a second-year MFA candidate for Poetry and Creative Nonfiction at The New School. She is an Education Associate with Teachers and Writers, a Research Assistant at The New School, the Prose Editor for LIT, and the Curator/MC for a monthly reading series at KGB Bar. You can find more of her work on her blog, Vinny the Snail and on the Best American Poetry Blog.

Featured image via Pxhere.